The government shut down Dec. 21 over Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi petulantly not wanting Trump to have any border wall funding. The federal government spends $4.4 trillion a year; the $5 billion Trump wanted is one-tenth of 1 percent of that. About the same percent that Elizabeth "Pocahontas" Warren is Native American.
If you are like me, you are more worried about government starting back up than it being shut down.
Who will open our open-air national parks? Who will answer the phones when we call? Who will give us the runaround at the IRS? Who will put us into intractable wars? Who will use the Justice Department to go after political opponents? Who will put us $22 trillion in debt?
Most of NASA is shut down, including the division that we pay to monitor to see if aliens in outer space try to contact us. I trust they put their "Out of Office" message on their email before they went home, in case aliens contact us.
Shouldn't there be chaos? Why are you not looting Target for a flat screen TV? Who will let me know when the panda cam is back on at the Washington Zoo?
Two things become clear during a government shutdown: how little we need most of government, and how petulant public servants can be when they do not get their funding. Under Obama, there was much petty government intimidation. Remember how he hired extra people to make sure our open-air national parks were kept shut so citizens could not just walk through them?
Heavy-handed goons run a swollen government monster that intimidates its funders, the taxpayers. It is structurally incapable of spending just a little less than it did the year before and seeks revenge when asked to live within its means. This shutdown teaches us that it is no big deal getting 25 percent of the government out of our lives. Americans will adapt. Let's shut down most of the government and just hire back any part that we miss.
With historically high employment, I suggest that we let about one-third of government employees find real jobs in the real world. You know, jobs that require accountability and productivity. Trump should keep government closed. If you can find it in the Yellow Pages or online, government does not need to be doing it.
Washington and the Deep State hate Trump no matter what he does, even when he does Obama-like things. He has done prison reform, run a huge deficit, is pulling troops out of Syria and Afghanistan, etc. If Trump doesn't stop acting like Obama, he might ask to see his own birth certificate.
Since the Democrats won the House, the stock market has cratered. The Dems want to investigate, not legislate.
Schumer, Pelosi and fellow libs run our overreaching, ineffective and expensive government. Should we be happy when government is back? It feels to me like my niece got back together with an abusive husband when that happens.
Trump made an unannounced trip to Iraq over Christmas. With Robert Mueller on his tail and Democrats spending inordinate time wanting to use the blunt force of the federal judiciary to investigate him further, Trump stands as the only president to go to a war-torn area for peace and quiet.
Government shutdowns have become a well-worn path of a dysfunctional Washington. It is like Schumer and Pelosi are walking the marble halls of the Capitol and 20 feet ahead of them they see a banana peel. They both say, "Here we go again."
The government shutdown over border wall funding is petulant politics at its best. Government means more to Democrats because it is their lives. There is no easy off-ramp for either side on this standoff. Now it is a waiting game to see who blinks first. And Nancy Pelosi has had so much work done on her face that she can't blink anymore. So expect her to not rest until she fully embarrasses Trump (a particularly hard man to embarrass) or she captures all 101 Dalmatians.
When the federal government was not working, Trump probably called tech support in India to get advice. He told the guy government isn't working, and the tech support guy said, "Just try turning it off for a while, then back on and see if that does the trick."
Contact Ron Hart at Ron@RonaldHart.com or @RonaldHart on Twitter.